Protest­ing Against Eco­nomic Re­forms

Southasia - - 13 -

Trade unions in In­dia ob­served a two­day strike against the government’s eco­nomic re­forms, de­scrib­ing them as anti-la­bor. The union mem­bers blocked rail and road traf­fic, af­fect­ing daily ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the course of the strike. Prime Min­is­ter Man­mo­han Singh ap­pealed to the union to call off the strike that direly af­fected In­dia’s econ­omy.

The protests took a se­ri­ous turn when un­known as­sailants killed the leader of the trade union. The protest had an im­pact in the east­ern part of West Ben­gal and south­ern Ker­ala states where trade unions en­joy greater co­he­sive­ness. The strik­ing unions, who pledge their al­le­giance to the Com­mu­nists, Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress party, are also protest­ing against the government’s de­ci­sion to open re­tail, in­surance and avi­a­tion sec­tors to for­eign in­vest­ment and in­creas­ing prices of sub­sidised fuel. Of­fi­cials of the trade union are of the view that the government’s anti-la­bor poli­cies are ig­nor­ing the work­ers’ rights.

By in­tro­duc­ing re­forms, the government plans to re­vive its fail­ing econ­omy and save its de­clin­ing credit rat­ings. Prime Min­is­ter Singh is cer­tain that the re­forms would help strengthen the growth process and will cre­ate em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties. The coun­try lost mil­lions of dol­lars last Septem­ber when the trade union ob­served a sim­i­lar strike.

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